Award winner: Sam Panetta

A number of leading staff at hotels across Australia have been recognised at the inaugural Accommodation Association Achievers’ Awards.

According to hosts the Accommodation Association of Australia (AAA), there was an “enthusiastic response” to the revitalised format where nominations for awards took the form of a short online video and winners’ video submissions were shown at the event.

“The awards showcased a selection of the high calibre of people who are leaders and who work in our industry,” said AAA Chief Executive Officer, Richard Munro.

“The video submissions provided a personalised view of the nominees in their actual work environment and did a fine job of translating the merit of each of them, as well as showing how meaningful careers can be forged in our industry.

“The Association congratulates all of the winners for their achievements.”

Of the seven Achievers Awards, the winners were drawn from a broad range of accommodation operations in both metropolitan and regional Australia, including businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, on the Gold Coast, Toowoomba and the Great Lakes region in NSW.

A number of accommodation industry luminaries were also honoured with Hostplus ‘ACES Awards’ for outstanding contributions and leadership (ACES stands for Attitude, Commitment, Enthusiasm and Service). Recipients of these awards included:
-Robert Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Best Western Australasia;
-Barry Baillie (posthumous award), Former Chief Executive Officer, Caravan and Camping Industry Association NSW;
-Mike Ford, Managing Director, SiteMinder;
-Gerry Harvey, Executive Chairman, Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd (developer of the Byron at Bryon Resort and Spa);
-James Packer, Chairman, Crown Ltd;
-Ashley Spencer, Vice President Operations Australasia, Hilton Worldwide; and
-Andrew Turner, Managing Director, Shenton Hospitality.

“The winners of Hostplus ACES Awards have demonstrated a strong and unwavering commitment to significantly improving Australia’s accommodation industry,” Munro said.

Leading the way in the staff awards was Rhett Constantine, Chief Concierge at The Sebel & Citigate Albert Park Melbourne, who took home two gongs, Supervisor of the Year and Team Member of the Year.

Accepted by Dino Mezzatesta, General Manager of Accor Hotel Integration, he acknowledged Rhett’s passion for customer service and the industry, and said he was integral to ensuring the success of the hotel.

Also from Accor, Sam Panetta, Hotel Manager at Sofitel Wentworth Sydney took out the Property Manager (50 rooms or more) Award, while Simon Harrison, Executive Chef at Novotel Sydney Olympic Park proudly took out Department Manager of the Year with his commitment to building relationships with staff and customers alike factoring into the decision.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management